Wallow Fire Update June 10
and Emergency Fire Fund Set Up
by Jesse Wolf Hardin
We wake up again to a thick fog of smoke from the swelling Wallow wildfire, with the rising sun tinted a remarkable blood red color. This is the point in the movie when Bambi and the other creatures of the forest sense the nearness of danger and begin their stampede in the direction of safety, but we are not ready to treat the burning of our canyon as inevitable. This botanical and wildlife sanctuary was devoid of most plant species when I moved here 35 Winters ago, and the thick green diversity and hundred feet high cottonwood trees I see from my cabin window are the result of those years of planting and protection. The fires continue their push our way, yet until the moment they might be laid to waste, we can not and will not accept their loss.
Yet we wake up not only to ominous smoke, but to the unceasing work of Anima school, to the tasks revolving around our next Plant Healer magazine for herbalists, the folks awaiting personal counsel and herbal consultations, the watering of delicious edible nettles alongside the river… and awaken, also, to yet another dozen letters and blog comments with hopes and prayers, love and offers of help. They are a counterforce to the once again growing winds of destruction, the juice needed for unabated healing and creation in the face of all challenges and threats. “Though we have never met”, many of your messages begin, and it is proof of the depth of our connection that so many feel close. We can’t thank you enough for being allied and caring in this troubling time, our students and allies, our extended family, our community of purpose.
Anima Emergency Fund
A fund has been set up for Anima Sanctuary and School, at the insistence of many. Starting with the seed of an unsolicited donation from our author/herbalist friend Virginia, contributions will be accepted for land protection and repair, which will also help make possible our continuing healing work.
Expenses are climbing. We have already had to shift funds from home repairs to evacuation preparedness, extra fuel for the vehicles and supplies, while our paid workers and gifting friends shift their emphasis from the water project to clearing the ground of flammables in a perimeter around the main cabins. This Emergency Fund will help fund these preparations, and in the event the fire does indeed overtake and engulf us, it will be used to replace and repair the infrastructure of the sanctuary,clinic and school, and to pay for what will be a huge reseeding and restoration effort.
Donations to the Anima Emergency Fund can be made at http://animacenter.org/donate.html and indicate in the message box that it is intended for the fire fund.
or a check or m.o. made out to Gretchen Geggis (Loba), and mailed to:
Anima Emergency Fund
P.O. Box 688, Reserve, NM 87830
To those of you offering to send foods, herbs, tools and so forth, we ask that you send a letter to the above addresses with a list of what you can provide, and then IF and when they’re needed we’ll get back to you. If the fire moves through this canyon and takes our living structures, a travel trailer will be the first item we look for.
Physically Assisting With Our Evacuation
Only a few of the many folks offering to come here and help, are even from the Southwest! We will only accept the assistance of those who live close enough for it not to be a great hardship, and only in the last couple days before we need to be fully evacuated. This could happen a week from now, several weeks from now, or in only a few short days depending on what the winds and blaze does. If you are determined to help with an evacuation, please write us with your availability and how to reach you quickest.
June 10 General Wallow Fire Update
Here are the official numbers, but note that all reports are inevitably dated and often inaccurate:
Cause: Human – reported to have been a fisherman’s campfire
Size: 408,887 acres based on predawn June 10 infrared data
Percent Contained: 5%
Injuries to Date: 3
Losses to Residences so far: 4,018 threatened, 29 destroyed, 5 damaged
Other Losses: 24 non-residential structures destroyed
Number of Personnel: 3,137 +/-, with 19 hotshot crews and 45 hand crews
Equipment employed: 17 dozers, 221 engines, 66 watertenders
Aircraft employed: 14 helicopters, 1 slurry plane
Southeast Side of Wallow Fire Needs Attention
The Southeast side is where the growth is most worrisome for us, being the most likely source of any threat to the county seat of Reserve as well as the outlying subdivision known as Rancho Grande and the “Y”. It is in the most rugged terrain of all the fire’s fronts, and roadless wilderness. Little has been reported done to contain the spread from the Southeast, so our ears are open.
Today we will continue removing dead grass and downfall from the vicinity of our office and home, though our 3 other cabins are surrounded by thick forest and will have nothing but their luck going for them. Rhiannon is being a trooper, busting her rear to help and keeping a strong heart and clear head through this stressful time. Kiva is in town gathering information and taking care of internet downloads for the conference, and I am trying hard to focus on getting back to all of you waiting for a reply from us. Glad this issue of the Plant Healer magazine is complete, one less deadline as we rush to take care of our commitments and still be ready for the fire. Loba has just come back from one of her regular dips in the shallow Rio Frisco, with a breathless report on getting to see a rare family of German Shepherd sized Coatimundi, her excitement and gratitude undiminished by the growing threat.
The hardest thing for us so far is the stress of the unknown, the scary waiting when we might rather either be in the fight or out of the path.
But a new sun will rise each day for us, reddened or not.
(Forward and Post)